Workers’ Compensation And Remote Positions: What You Should Know
With the pandemic in full swing, many people are moving to work-from-home positions. Remote working is quickly becoming a new reality for many employees around the world. However, what happens if you were to get injured while working remotely? Does your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance still cover your injuries? Or is your private health insurance policy your only option?
Workers’ Compensation Coverage
This is considered a no-fault system in Florida, which means that if you are injured in the course and scope of your employment, then you should be covered under workers’ compensation insurance. Generally speaking, employees are also often covered for any work-related injuries sustained outside of the workplace. However, when considering these types of injuries and their setting, you have to consider whether or not the injury is work-related.
It can often prove difficult to substantiate these injuries, and it certainly becomes much more complicated in a remote work setting. To help determine if an injury at home is covered under workers’ compensation, you have to consider a few things.
During the time of the injury, was the employer benefitting from the services of the employee? Did the employer require that the employee engage in an activity that could ultimately cause injury? Was the off-site activity that was done and led to the injury approved by the employer?
Carpal tunnel syndrome and other repetitive stress injuries are covered under workers’ compensation insurance. So, while working from home, if you are performing the same repetitive patterns that you normally do in the office, then you should be covered for such work-related injuries.
Since state laws govern the benefits awarded by workers’ compensation, the rules will vary depending on where you reside. If you sustain an injury while working from home, you should still file the insurance forms for workers’ compensation provided by your employer. You should also include any evidence you have to back up your injury claim. Be prepared to answer any questions regarding the injury and how it happened.
What Can An Employer Do To Safeguard Employees?
While some injuries sustained while working at home are covered under an employer's workers’ compensation insurance, steps can still be taken to help avoid those types of accidents.
First, the employee's home needs to be safe for business. Some employers may require their staff to fill out a working-from-home safety survey to ensure that their furnishings, lighting, and other equipment are well maintained and safe to use for work.
It is also encouraged to have a dedicated workspace in the home. This helps minimize the risk of injury while working. It also allows the employee to set boundaries and remain as productive as possible.
The employee's homeowner's policy should be up to date as well. Many employers will require that this be done to ensure that the property is covered if there is damage done during working hours.
There should also be an emphasis on cybersecurity for remote employees. IT professionals can set up a secure connection from the home to the company's network. The connection needs to be strong so it is not left open for hackers. The employee should be encouraged to use only the equipment provided by the company.
If you have followed these suggestions but have still been injured while working from home for your company, then you may be entitled to compensation for those injuries. Since they can be challenging to prove, it would greatly benefit you to have an experienced personal injury attorney on your side to help you navigate the process from start to finish.